Confente crest. (source: Cicli Su Carta)
Mario Confente is not famous as a framebuilder. At least not to the masses. But he was one of the best framebuilders in the world, an innovator and an artist. Unfortunately he died in 1979.
Born in Montorio, near Verona, he began building bicycle frames when still riding as an amateur racer in the Bencini team, a strong team of the 1960s composed by Flaviano Vicentini, Pietro Guerra e Severino Andreoli among the others.
When he stopped racing after a track crash in 1968 he devoted himself entirely to framebuilding. And his former teammates continued to win races on his bikes. It was on a track jewel build by Confente that Pietro Guerra, already World Champion of 100km team time trial in 1968, won the Italian Pursuit Championships in 1970 and 1971.
His reputation grew and he began building frames for important brands such as Bianchi and Masi, and for important riders, Eddy Merckx above all. But as it often happens he could never put his name on the frames. When Faliero Masi opened a manufacturing site in the USA he sent Confente there as a production supervisor. In three years under his guide the factory produced 2.200 bicycles.
In 1976 Confente could finally open his own workshop in Los Angeles and began to sign his bicycles. The sprinter and many times USA 1km Time Trial National Champion Jerry Ash rode in the World Championship in 1976, '77 and '78 on a Confente frame.
The bicycles built by Mario Confente are highly appreciated for their outstanding technical and aesthetic features and they pushed the US bicycle market a step forward. When he died he was 34. Only 124 road bikes and 11 track bikes bear his name. They are masterpieces.
(source: text and drawing by Cicli Su Carta)
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